Suzanne Varnell Smith, 71 of Chattanooga, TN passed from our sight to be with God on December 31st, 2020. She was born in Chattanooga, TN to parents, Charles Deward Varnell and Thelma Dorris Varnell on March 20, 1949.
Suzanne graduated from Brainerd High School in 1967. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1971, followed by her Master of Education in 1975.
Suzanne was a dedicated educator for 32 years. She began her career at Ringgold Elementary School and found her home at Battlefield Elementary School. Her dedication and approach to teaching changed the course of countless young minds.
Following retirement, Suzanne discovered her natural talent and love for the game of golf. Her husband taught her to play and never won another round. She used the gifts God gave her to teach and feed others, to play and laugh, paint, sing, and garden. She expressed her heart using her lovely soprano voice and found an alter to worship from in the Grace Episcopal Church choir. If you found Suzanne not wearing her renowned high heels, it was only because she was in her garden shoes. All who sat in her garden could catch sight of her heart.
Suzanne is survived by her husband, Roger Kinnie Smith of Chattanooga, her siblings, Claire Varnell Bradford of Murfreesboro and Brian Timothy Varnell and his wife Joy of Birmingham, her children, Patrick Elliot Henry and his wife Lauren, Rachel Henry Cleghorn and her husband Will, Paul Watkins Henry, her grandchildren Liam, Hudson, and Harper, her nieces and nephews, Peter, Lauren, and Daniel.
Suzanne was preceded in death by her parents, Charles Deward Varnell 1924 – 1998 and Thelma Dorris Varnell 1930 – 2019, her brother Charles Richard who was born and died on the same day in 1951, her brother-in-law Kendall Clark Morton 1945 – 2014 (Claire’s husband), her nephew Drew Colin Bradford 1980 – 2020 and her stepson Tyler Kinnie Smith 1963 – 2020.
The family is holding a single service at graveside on Saturday, January 16th at 2pm EDT at the Varnell Cemetery, Varnell Lane, Ooltewah, TN 37363. The reverend April Berends will officiate.
Flowers are acceptable and kind, but donations to Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37211 (“in Memorial for Suzanne Smith”) are gladly received.
Arrangements are by the South Crest Chapel of Lane Funeral Home & Crematory, Rossville.
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